If you were in Abraham's situation

If you heard a voice from someone claiming to be God who instructed you to sacrifice your only son, what would you do?

God rewarded Abraham for his obedience, but did Abraham really do the right thing? Would you have done the same?

This was a common practice for the pagans who did not believe in God and they would make sacrifices to their gods including human sacrifices. Abraham was saddened but believed that God was asking of him something that was common for the other false gods, and therefore under those circumstances, yes he did the right thing since he believed that this was the common practice and what the one true God also desired. However, one point of this act along with proving Abraham’s obedience to God probably was also to show that human sacrifice is not a good thing and never should be done and that it is not something God desires.

So even though his conscience told him it was wrong, he was correct in proceeding to sacrifice to his son because it was common practice at the time?

However, one point of this act along with proving Abraham’s obedience to God probably was also to show that human sacrifice is not a good thing and never should be done and that it is not something God desires.

And yet it was still done, such as by Jephthah, and God did nothing to stop it. His daughter wasn’t as fortunate as Isaac.

Funny - I often think, when I hear the story of Abraham, “Thank God Abraham was chosen for that test, and not me!!” That’s a real toughie.

it was a test of Abraham’s trust in God… God knew Abraham loved his son more than life itself, but did Abraham know he loved God more than his own son? God knew the answer but Abraham needed to learn that yes he loved God even more than his own flesh and blood…

I guess my answer would have to be that God would not test me without preparing me to make the right choice. I trust in God for that.

This is also something I ponder when I hear the story of Abraham. God stopped Abraham from following through, but God sacrificed His son for us. God did what He wouldn’t even allow Abraham to do. This truly shows us how much more God loves us than any earthly man could love his son.

That’s an impossible question for anyone to answer. The only way for a person to know is if they are actually in that situation. Speculation is useless. Its like asking if we would die for our faith. Its very easy to say yes or I hope I would but nobody will know until such a time to test that actually comes.

His conscience told him it was the right thing to do since he was obeying God. I assume he was distressed that God would ask him to do what the other pagans also did but since it was common practice it is different than the situation today.

In regards to Jephthah, he made a stupid vow to God and paid dearly to it which is a lesson to us not to make promises to God like that. I am not even sure what that passage means. First of all I am unsure whether Jephthah was supposed do kill his daughter as a sacrifice or merely offer her as a consecrated virgin. Also, God never actually told Jephthah to kill her or go through with the promises. Jephthah just assumed he should and his daughter was obedient and agreed.

If “someone claim[s] to be God”, such a person is either a maniac, a liar, a false prophet, or deluded - only God is God. And God does not command what is evil - He cannot, without destroying His own moral character, & therefore, His right to our obedience. A God who commands evil is not God, but the devil. For us who are Christians, this is clear in a way that it was not before the Resurrection of Christ, for the Death of Christ, from which it is impossible to separate the Resurrection, reveals the moral character of God even more clearly than it is revealed in the better parts of the OT.

Christ Crucified reveals the character of God as being not only ethical (which was already very clear), but as limitlessly self-giving & self-sacrificing. Since that was made known by the preaching of Christ Crucified and Raised, there is no possible defence for human sacrifice, & God cannot be a god who orders or requires it. A lunatic, a liar, a false prophet, our own fantasies, or a demon, could - but not God. He gives Life; He does not require us to take the lives of others.

It’s an interesting question - Kierkegaard’s “Fear and Trembling” is a well-known meditation on your question:
*]Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling[/LIST]and
*]Fear and Trembling[/LIST]and
*] - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFear and Trembling[/LIST]all provide the text or information :slight_smile:

You need to keep in mind a random voice did not appear out of nowhere and say “Kill your son”. Abraham was in a close relationship with God for a long time. The sacrifice event came in Gen 22, check out chapters like Gen 18 where Abraham has the nerve to NEGOTIATE with Almighty God!

Given this background it was not some random voice telling Abraham to sacrifice his son. If WE today heard “a random voice” telling us to do something like that (or anything similar) we can safely consider it coming from the devil.

Well, I’m not Abraham, so I really can’t say what I would have done. As for what he did was right or not, the answer is yes. He had faith in God, and that’s what he was reward for: his faith. (Read it in the NT).

The thing with Jephthah’s daughter is a pretty big red herring anyway. First of all, God didn’t tell Jephthah to make such a promise… it was all Jephthah’s own foolish idea because he was feeling desperate and trying to bargain with God on his own terms somehow. So to say that “God didn’t stop it” really doesn’t say much more than the fact that God doesn’t decide to intervene in every other senseless murder that has taken place in history.

Hebrews 11:17 *By **faith **Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son

Matthew 10:37 *He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

James 2:21 *Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

having been in the situation of having to trust God and consign a child over to Him, I would obey. Parents have to face this all the time: a child who is mortally ill, an adult child who is taking the wrong path, a child who refuses help, a child who is beyond any help the parent can give, these are examples, of when God is clearly saying to the parent, let the child go and trust me to take care of him.

We - as Catholics - find ourselves in a similar situation as Abraham, albeit not as dramatic as sacrificing our children.

How often do Protestants tell us that praying to saints is satanic? How often are we told by muslims that God is not a Trinity? How often do the Jews tell us that Jesus is not the messiah? How often do the atheist tell us there is no God?

But we know God. We can recognise him and we know what he wants.

Similarly, Abraham knew God - He knew his voice; He knew his wants. Abraham did do the right thing.

As a christian living in the New Convenant, I know the voice of God; It is the voice of love. And if a spirit tells me to kill somebody, I know that is not God’s spirit.

Gabriel died on March 7, 2006. The following Sunday, March 12, this story of Abraham going to sacrifice his son, Isaac, was the reading.

Gabriel’s middle name is Isaac. It was incredible. The gospel was the Transfiguration.

Fr. Mark told us after that he didn’t know how he was going to do a decent homily, considering.

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